Wichita boy caught breaking into coach’s car given second chance, earns spot on team

Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 5:38 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A man who coaches youth football and mentors youth in the city of Wichita didn’t let a 12-year-old boy’s bad decision define him. AJ Bohannon confronted the boy after footage showed him breaking into Bohannon’s car. Bohannon talked with the boy about making the right choices and the importance of getting on the right path for success later in life. Bohannon told the boy he wanted to help him.

“I wasn’t going to get him in trouble or anything, I just wanted to offer him some help, try to show him the way,” Bohannon said.

Fast forward to this week, a second-chance opportunity for the 12-year-old named Eddie, but he had to earn it. Bohannon shared the experience he described in a Facebook post, as “the true definition of hard work and dedication.”

One way Bohannon offered to help Eddie was by inviting him to join his youth football team, the Cowboys. He spoke with Eddie’s parents about how the team environment would be a positive one for their son to be part of.

“But I told Eddie that he had to run 100 laps around the park before I could welcome him to the team,” Bohannon wrote. “I thought it would take him a week or two to finish because that lap is not small, but every day since Monday (Aug. 3), Eddie did 25 of them a day.”

He completed the task Thursday.

“My team mom counted every one of (the laps). He didn’t complain, moan or groan. He just stayed focused and kept running,” Bohannon said.

Eddie said he was unsure at first about accepting Bohannon’s challenge to run the laps and offer to join the team. He said his mother didn’t give him a choice.

“I just went. And then when I cam, I just wanted to come even more,” he said.

In crediting Eddie for his positive attitude in running the 100 laps and dedication to completing the challenge, Bohannon said this became a teachable moment where the 12-year-old can learn more lessons than he would in jail.

“He’s not a bad kid, he just made a bad decision,” Bohannon said.

Eddie said it feels good to be part of a team and to get to bond with new teammates.

Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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